a teatray in the sky

too many names

Posted in 30D, Penn Quarter, Photography by firthefirst on March 18, 2010

the fam took a trip to see the National Portrait Gallery the other week and I made them wait in the car for a bit while I took a couple of shots around the MLK Jr. Memorial Library.  there was an exhibit titled “Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists’ Enumerations” that I really wanted to go see, and despite the fact that it’s a wee bairn of an exhibit, it did turn out to be quite a bit of fun.  despite the public image of grand artistes as free-wheeling cads, in reality I think a large portion of truly creative types are also truly obsessive and truly neurotic.  combine that with their capacity for wit, art, and ingenuity, and you get some really really cool lists.  and we all know how I feel about lists (does this mean I’m creative?)

my favorites: Adolf Konrad’s illustrated and colored packing list of all the things he wanted to take on vacation, down to every last paintbrush.  also, Harry Bertoia’s self-analysis graph, with a dozen categories like “loyalty” and “health” ranked from “very poor” to “excellent”.  I noted that Harry did not deem himself very poor in anything.

oddly enough, I didn’t hear about this exhibit from the Washington Post, the Washingtonian, or anything even stateside based.  I was reading a review of the exhibit over on BBC and thinking, boy, I wish this would come across the pond.  then I caught the last sentence: runs until September 2010 at the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.  << note the lack of comma is entirely BBC’s own doing

which puzzled me at first, though.  what the heck is the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery?  and where the heck?  turns out, the National Portrait Gallery wasn’t closed all those years for renovation.  it was closed for psychiatric evaluation.  turns out the shrinks couldn’t resolve its multiple-personality disorder.  a list of names:

  • National Portrait Gallery (1)
  • Donald W. Reynolds Center (2)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum (3)
  • Lunder Conservation Center (4)
  • Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery (5)

I mean, seriously, it’s just one building.  is this buy-one-get-four-free thursdays or what?

not quite.  just buy one get one free.

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5 Responses

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  1. Peter said, on March 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

    You might want to see Nicholas Felton’s web site: http://feltron.com/ The guy puts out an annual report on himself every year.

  2. stephen yang said, on March 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    ooh the first one isn’t bad. i would’ve had less of the right part of the image and more of the left part of the image. good call with the desat

    • firthefirst said, on March 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      bringing in more of the left I think would make the image lose its focus. it’s all about the monumental scale of the colonnade and the people mingling beneath and through the columnar screen, and about the abstract form of the black pillars resting on a massless white plane. it’s not a traditional streetscape; I’m actually thinking I should burn out the building behind it

      • Tina said, on March 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm

        oooh burn out building. i mean… yes that would be awesome. reminds me of mies. if only buildings didn’t have any surroundings to deal with… then we would all design in maya and build craziness all over. good thing we have reality to deal with (or at least most of us)

        • firthefirst said, on March 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

          I meant burn as in “dodge and burn” burn… you little pyromaniac you


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